A Police agency is investigating a serious crime.
They only find a note. They have no clue what it says. The note is a series of symbols, letters, and numbers.
They know it means something but they don’t have the key to figure out what the symbols mean.
Encryption in technology is like the note.
Encryption is a math problem to scramble data.
Data can be decrypted using an encryption key. And in many cases a password and a key. Making the data stored behind multi-factor authentication.
It is the most important development in modern technology.
Why is encryption important?
Encryption is the technology keeping your data safe and not readable by the wrong person.
When a company says your data is secure, they mean it has encryption. If someone were to be able to download the data, they couldn’t understand what it says.
You have to trust they are taking care of the key to unlock the encryption.
The most common place using encryption is the internet.
Remember when you would see HTTP on the internet? This was insecure. HTTPS is the solution.
The “S” stands for secure. Meaning the data sent from your browser to the website is secure end to end.
What is end-to-end encryption?
End-to-end encryption means the data is sent with encryption and the receiver gets it with encryption on the other end. Then it’s removes the encryption by the app opening it with the encryption key.
Technologies lacking data security
Text messages and email have no encryption by default.
You can get email services such as Proton Mail which offer email with encryption. There’s a huge problem with these email providers. This is why companies won’t send your account numbers or personal information via email.
There are services offering text messages with encryption. iMessage from Apple, and Signal are end-to-end encrypted.